Thursday, March 20, 2008

Reactrix to add transaction capabilities

As cool as a Reactrix setup looks while walking through a mall concourse or (increasingly) in movie theaters, I have to wonder whether their latest announcement -- namely, that they'd be adding the ability to conduct sales transactions via applications running on their network -- really made any sense. According to MediaPost,

Once a user is engaged with the experience, opportunities will naturally arise to offer promotions and actual sales of products from the brand advertiser, [CEO Mike Ribero] adds.

Ribero said commercial transactions could be handled one of two ways: through a credit-card swipe (or a wallet sensor for cards with Blink-style capability) or with new technology that ties mobile devices to credit cards, in which the consumer enters a confirmation code from the display.

It's one thing to say that people who interact with your virtual Honda salesroom (or whatever) will be able to remember the brand later. However, like those virtual shop windows that have been getting some buzz lately, this medium definitely seems more of an experiential experiment to me, and certainly not part of any "normal" purchase process that I'd be familiar with. That means Reactrix will have to convince a whole bunch of people that using their system is just another acceptable way of completing a transaction. They could be banking on the fact that younger generations are already (slowly!) getting used to the idea of using contactless systems and even their mobile phones as payment devices, and counting on this generation to look for more unique and gratifying ways to actually complete a purchase. For most people though, I don't see the demand or the advantage.

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